No-Chilli Chilli

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Recipe by Naomi Sherman

Net Carbs







I don’t know every single thing about every single food out there
Understandably, I always thought that American Chilli had lots of…well, chilli
And my troublesome stomach means that anything spicy, even generous amounts of black pepper, is a serious no-go so I’ve never even considered trying it
But after talking to my foodie soul-sista Emma, from over at Photo Before We Eat, I was told that there are a number of versions that are either mild or don’t have chilli at all
After spending way too much time reading and researching different regional recipes, I came to the conclusion that there really is no single way to make chilli. It seems that a rich, beefy stew with paprika and cumin seem to be the main requirements
Tomato, no tomato. Beans, no beans. Steak or ground beef. 
The opinions are ferocious and sometimes fanatical
I’m aware that my U.S followers will probably be sending me all kinds of opinions on my no-chilli chilli, but I really love that this is something that I can actually eat
I chose to use my Taco Seasoning as the flavour base, with it’s paprika and cumin tones, but bumped the paprika up and added cocoa powder.
Trust me on the cocoa, it adds a deep, rich element that you don’t want to miss and doesn’t taste chocolatey or sweet at all – just make sure that you use dark or Dutch processed cocoa powder
It’s made with cheap cuts of meat and bulked out with beans and corn so it is budget-friendly and this makes an enormous batch, so you could either halve it or freeze half for another night
It’s rich and incredibly tasty, kid-friendly and if you need that spicy kick you can add your own chilli
You can serve it with rice, polenta, or cornbread, dunk corn chips in it, or curl up in a chair and just eat it with a spoon – the choices are all yours
I ate mine with lots of sour cream and a big handful of coriander
Make it yourself. Tag me in your creations


  • 2 kg chuck steak

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 cup of my Taco Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa

  • 2 onions

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 2 cans black beans

  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes

  • 1 can corn kernels

  • 500 ml beef stock


  • Preheat your oven to 160°C
  • Cut the chuck steak into bite-sized pieces and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil over high heat in a large oven-proof casserole and brown the beef in batches, getting a good caramelised coating on the outside, setting aside in a bowl when done.
  • While the meat cooks, dice the onion and finely slice the garlic.
  • Once all of the meat is browned and in the bowl, cook the onion and garlic in the hot casserole.
  • Add the taco seasoning, cocoa and smoked paprika, with a splash of olive oil.
  • Stir and cook the mixture for a minute or so until the seasonings are toasted, then add the stock.
  • Return the beef to the pot and add the tomatoes, beans and corn.
  • Stir to combine and then cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 3 hours until the meat is fall-apart tender.
  • If you feel that the sauce needs thickening, you can use a cornflour slurry to do so.
  • Serve in a bowl with a big dollop of sour cream, cheese and coriander.

Nutrition Facts

8 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories505
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 19.8g 31%
    • Total Carbohydrate 18.3g 7%
      • Protein 61.5g 123%

        * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.